Friday, 15 February 2019

Don't miss out on this

A chance to buy some of the wonderful books that I've published recently.

The greay thing about self-publishing is the frredon to choose any fucking subject I want. No matter how uncommercial it might be. That and the lack of deadlines. Which, weirdly, probably prompts me to come out with books more quickly and more frequently.

The most recent of these efforts is my history of UK brewing in WW I. It has everything: words, numbers and a stupid number of homebrew recipes. Plus a lovely cover by my son Alexei.

 Buy this wonderful book.




Published earlier in 2018 is my book covering British brewing after WW II. One of the gloomiest periods in Britain's history. When the beer was as weak as piss. I'm selling this well, aren't I? For those interested in such piss-weak brews, there are more than 300 homebrew recipes. Some even for beers over 3% ABV.

http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/austerity/23181344



Tallking of homebrew recipes, Let's Brew! consists of nothing else. I consider it an expansion pack for my Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer. With many recipes - like North American and Lager recipes - that I couldn't include in the original book for reasons of space.



http://www.lulu.com/shop/ronald-pattinson/lets-brew/paperback/product-23289812.html

Finally, what's possibly my most important book so far, a history of Scottish beer over the last 150 years or so. All material in is new, apart from a few recipes, of which there are almost 400. Why the hell hasn't this been picked up by a "real" publisher?



http://www.lulu.com/shop/ronald-pattinson/scotland-vol-2/paperback/product-23090497.html 

Greene King Burton Ale

Burton Ale wasn't a style confined to just London. There were brewers outside the capital (and Burton-on-Trent) who brewed one. I know that from, amonst other evidence, old beer labels.

It wasn't until I stumbled upon this advert that Greene King had a draught as well as a bottled Burton Ale. Which is intriguing. Especially as it sold for the same price - 1s 3d - as their Best Bitter.

Bury Free Press - Friday 20 May 1949, page 11.

The question I immediately asked myself was: how strong were Greene King Burton and Best Burton? Time to scan my spreadsheets and take a look at their brewing records.

Unfortunately, I don't have records from spring 1949, just late 1948 and January 1949. Which is just that little bit too early. I'm hoping that the relevant brewing book is one of the ones Henry photographed. And that I will eventually get the pictures off him.

On the upside, I do have quite a few analyses of Green King beers from just a little later. Combining all of this, I've got a pretty good idea of the character of their beers.

Let's take a look at their bottled range first:

Greene King bottled beers 1954 - 1960
Year Beer Style Price per pint (d) OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation colour Index of Hop Bitter
1960 Burton Ale Brown Ale 20 1033.4 1011.7 2.80 64.97% 16
1956 Harvest Brown Ale Brown Ale 22 1035.2 1013.9 2.75 60.51% 105
1959 India Pale Ale IPA 20 1033.3 1010 3.02 69.97% 25
1960 India Pale Ale IPA 20 1033 1007.7 3.16 76.67% 25
1960 India Pale Ale IPA 20 1033.2 1008.5 3.20 74.40% 24
1960 Lager Lager 1034.9 1006.4 3.56 81.66% 9.5
1960 Abbot Ale Pale Ale 30 1048.6 1006.7 5.24 86.21% 19
1954 Stout Stout 19 1034.3 1012.7 2.79 62.97% 450
1954 Sweet Stout Stout 26 1046.6 1020.3 3.39 56.44% 450
1960 Suffolk Ale Strong Ale 34 1056.8 1015.7 5.14 72.36% 70
Sources:
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002
Which Beer Report, 1960, pages 171 - 173.

What first strikes me about their bottled Burton Ale is that it looks more like a Brown Ale than a London Burton. It's called BA in the brewing records and, had I not known they brewed a beer called  Burton, I would have assumed that it stood for Brown Ale.

From the brewing records, I know that in late 1948 all three of the bottled beers listed, Stout, IPA and Burton Ale, all had an identical OG: 11.1 lbs per barrel, or 1031º. By 1960 that had increased a few degrees to 1033-1034º. They had also expanded their bottled range, which included a higher OG Stout and a stronger Pale Ale in the form of Abbot Ale.

Index of hop bitterness, if you're wondering, seems to be about the same as IBUs. The figure of 16 certainly tallies with what you'd expect from a Brown Ale. London Burton Ales were more heavily hopped than that.

Now their draught beers:

Greene King draught beers 1954 - 1960
Year Beer Style Price per pint (d) OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation colour Index of Hop Bitter
1960 Mild Mild 12 1030.7 1006.05 3.20 80.29% 18
1960 Abbot Ale Pale Ale 22 1051.3 1007.9 5.43 84.60% 20
1960 Best Bitter Pale Ale 15 1038.4 1007.4 3.88 80.73% 20
1960 Bitter Pale Ale 15 1037.0 1006.25 4.00 83.11% 33
1960 Ordinary Bitter Pale Ale 13 1033.9 1005.7 3.53 83.19% 26
Sources:
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002
Which Beer Report, 1960, pages 171 - 173.

Note that the draught beer prices are the same as in 1949. The explanation is that the tax had decreased between 1949 and 1960. Though it also seems that draught Best Burton had disappeared. But, given that it cost the same price as Best Bitter, I'm guessing that its OG was around 1038º. Which is more like a Best Mild than a London Burton. Even in the darkest days of post-war austerity, London Burton had a gravity of over 1040º.

Though it was called IPA Cask within the brewery, the trade name seems to have been plain old Bitter. I wonder when they started calling the draught version IPA in pubs?

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Excise Licences to Makers of Alcoholic Liquors 1900 - 1936

Numbers again today. Lots of them And not a huge number of words as I have to start cooking Sunday dinner in a minute.

This set is interesting because it breaks down the number of breweries by the UK's constituent countries. Which reveals that the vast majority of breweries were in England and Wales. Every year covered by the table approximately 97% were in England and Wales. While fewer than 90% of the population lived there.

While Scotland contained a disproportionate number of the distilleries. No real surprise there.

The numbers for brewers not for sale - i.e. homebrewers - are a bit weird. In that, unlike those for common brewers, they weren't in constant decline. They were falling slowly until WW I, when they initially rose and then collapsed. Presumably because brewing materials were unavailable. After the war, the numbers shot up again, getting back to almost their 1900 level by 1928. Quite surprising that.


Excise Licences to Makers of Alcoholic Liquors 1900 - 1936
Year ending March 31 Common Brewers Distillers and Rectifiers Brewers not for Sale
Eng. Scot. Ire. U.K. Eng. Scot. Ire. U.K. Eng. Scot. G.B.
1900 6270 136 41 6447 268 200 59 527 12607 127 12734
1901 5936 132 41 6110 286 200 57 543 12296 114 12410
1902 5736 126 36 5898 272 196 56 524 11772 100 11872
1903 5533 122 37 5692 252 193 56 501 11665 87 11752
1904 5340 117 38 5495 256 195 54 505 11275 84 11359
1905 5164 111 36 5211 264 191 51 506 9863 67 9930
1906 5001 108 33 5142 254 187 52 493 9266 56 9322
1907 4846 108 31 4985 257 195 50 502 8840 49 8889
1908 4674 104 30 4808 261 188 48 497 8438 43 8481
1909 4539 98 30 4667 256 188 48 492 7530 38 7568
1910 4390 92 30 4512 241 185 46 472 6980 26 7006
1911 4212 88 29 4329 212 184 42 438 6833 22 6855
1912 4074 81 29 4184 212 177 41 430 5953 20 5973
1913 3833 79 29 3941 224 180 41 445 4992 17 5009
1914 3643 75 28 3746 213 179 41 433 4522 15 4537
1915 3458 71 27 3556 220 175 41 436 4728 13 4741
1916 3273 70 27 3370 222 173 41 436 5982 9 5991
1917 3141 67 26 3234 222 171 39 432 5207 10 5217
1918 3060 66 25 3151 219 169 39 427 1598 4 1602
1919 2968 64 25 3057 226 161 38 425 1876 3 1879
1920 2826 63 25 2914 270 161 38 469 2998 1 2999
1921 2587 60 23 2670 277 162 37 476 6174 6174
1922 2403 59 22 2484 260 160 37 457 7069 7069
1923 2238 58 2 2298 247 156 *12 415 8028 40 8068
1924 2089 57 2 2148 254 151 12 417 9423 409 9832
1925 1938 56 2 1996 252 159 12 423 8991 476 9467
1926 1789 54 1 1844 252 153 12 417 10869 618 11487
1927 1670 51 1 1722 246 150 11 407 11427 751 12178
1928 1550 49 1 1599 245 145 11 401 12257 842 13099
1929 1453 49 1502 237 145 11 393 11878 1044 12922
1930 1372 46 1418 241 136 11 388 11437 1076 12513
1931 1295 45 1340 231 134 10 375 11462 1088 12550
1932 1241 45 1286 235 129 10 374 10033 1106 11139
1933 1196 43 1239 221 126 10 357 10141 1135 11276
1934 1153 44 1197 215 123 8 346 9549 1197 10746
1935 1102 42 1144 217 124 10 341 8906 1264 10170
1936 1060 43 1103 204 121 9 334 8502 1265 9767
* From 1923 figures are for Northern Ireland only.
Source:
"Drink in Great Britain 1900 - 1979", by Gwylmor Prys Williams and George Thompson Brake, 1980, page 367.





Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1939 Truman Pale 1B

The bottling version of Truman’s No. 1 Pale Ale was the brewery’s flagship beer. After WW II it would be dubbed Ben Truman Pale Ale and eventually find infamy as a crappy keg beer in the 1960s. When that sort of thing was all the rage.

It was also the brewery’s classic IPA in the 19th century, weighing in at 1067º. The winds of time naturally eroded that somewhat, but it retained a reasonable gravity. With its gravity of over 1050º, it’s a typical interwar Best Bitter. Though, as the B suffix denotes, this was a beer intended for bottling.

The grist is much like the other beers from Truman’s Burton brewery. The base is a combination of pale and high-dried malt, though with rather less of the latter than their Mild Ales. The remainder of the grist consists of flaked maize and invert sugar. I’ve guessed No. 1 invert, but it could just have easily been No. 2.

The hops are, again, all English from the 1937 and 1938 harvests.


1939 Truman Pale 1B
pale malt 9.00 lb 75.00%
high dried malt 1.50 lb 12.50%
flaked maize 1.00 lb 8.33%
No. 1 invert sugar 0.50 lb 4.17%
Fuggles 90 mins 1.00 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1053.5
FG 1013.5
ABV 5.29
Apparent attenuation 74.77%
IBU 30
SRM 6
Mash at 151.5º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 59.5º F
Yeast Wyeast 1028 London Ale (Worthington White Shield)

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Guinness exports to the UK 1861 - 1901

As promised, here's a look at Guinness exports to Britain in relation to total Irish beers exports to the UK. It's probably not what uou'd expect. It certainly isn't what I expected.

Because even as late as 1861, Guinness made up less than 50% of Irish beer exports. Though by the time the 19th century ended, they had risen to three-quarters of the total. Why did this happen? How did Guinness come to dominate the English market for Irish Stout?

I think it's all down to branding. One of the interesting features of old newspapers are the adverts for beer. From the 1850s there are plenty of mentions of Dublin Stout. But here's the strange thing: often there's to indication of the brewery that produced it, other than that it was presumably located in Dublin.


There's one exception to this. Guinness. Who are often mentioned by name. It looks to me as if they've taken a generic product - Dublin Stout - and made it their own. Effectively making Guinness synonymous, at least in England, with Dublin Stout.  At least that's my theory.

Guinness exports to the UK 1861 - 1901 (bulk barrels)
Year Guinness Total % Guinness
1861 101,664 255,576 39.78%
1871 191,555 421,952 45.40%
1881 205,759 508,035 40.50%
1891 368,332 691,478 53.27%
1898 387,995 552,942 70.17%
1901 512,945 689,796 74.36%
Sources:
"A Bottle of Guinness please" by David Hughes, pages 276-279
"Ireland Industrial and Agricultural", 1902, page 457

Monday, 11 February 2019

Number of breweries in the UK 1838 - 2917

Lots of numbers this time. You may be able to tell that I've been doing some more extracting from BBPA Statistical Handbook 2018.

The trend for the last couple of decades are the exact opposite of those for pubs. That is, the nunmbers have been constantly rising.  Though a quick glance at the table will tell you that the current number of breweries is way off the record. It's only just about got back to the level of the early 1920s. Go back into the 19th century and its's way short.

Though it should be borne in mind that the vast majority of breweries in the 19th century were tiny, producing fewer than 1,000 barrels per year. In 1881, for example, around 75% of brewers were homebrew pubs.

One thing to bear in mind: these numbers are for brewing licences issued. The number of breweries thnat were actively brewing was lower.

I'm going to out on a limb here: I don't think we'll ever see the UK manage 1 brewery per 544 inhabitants again.

Number of breweries in the UK 1838 - 2917
Year Breweries population pop. per brewery
1838       49,200 26,751,199         544
1870       32,287 31,555,694         977
1880       21,131 34,934,476      1,653
1890       11,364 37,802,381      3,327
1895        9,050 39,220,114      4,334
1900        6,447 41,154,646      6,384
1910        4,512 44,911,346      9,954
1914        3,647 46,089,249     12,638
1920        2,914 46,873,396     16,086
1930        1,418 46,074,000     32,492
1935        1,144
1940 840 48,216,000     57,400
1945 708
1950 567 50,290,000     88,695
1955 460
1960 358 52,807,000   147,506
1965 274
1970 177 55,928,000   315,977
1980 191 56,352,000   295,037
1990 279 57,808,000   207,197
2000 500 59,009,000   118,018
2001 448
2002 403
2003 493
2004 504
2005 570
2006 642
2007 667
2008 725
2009 745
2010 828
2011 948
2012 1,300
2013 1,490
2014 1,700
2015 1,880
2016 2,250
2017 2,430 66,020,000     27,169
Sources:
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, vol 7, 1901, page 64
BBPA Statistical Handbook 2003, p. 92
Brewers' Almanack 1955 p.68